FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2002-11
Monday, August 12, 2002

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Susan Gard
(415) 703-5050


Farm labor contractor license verification Web site a success


SAN FRANCISCO - The California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) new license verification Web site, which helps agricultural growers comply with state labor law, verified nearly 600 licenses during its first month of operation in July, showing that growers are willing to provide evidence they have checked farm labor contractor licenses before signing a contract.

DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) set up the new license verification Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.

A response is sent within 24 hours of DLSE receiving an e-mail with all the requested information. The response contains a verification number and information on the farm labor contractor's license, including license number, address and date of expiration. If no license exists, the requester receives notification to that effect. The e-mail response can be kept as evidence of verification.

"We have put great effort into making this verification requirement quick and easy for everyone to use," said Labor Commissioner Art Lujan. "We are glad to see the volume of verifications completed so far. There is no longer any reason for unlicensed farm labor contractors to be hired and for agriculture workers to run the risk of not being paid."

Any grower or farm labor contractor who has not verified a license and received a verification number prior to entering into a contract could be held civilly liable for violations committed by an unlicensed farm labor contractor, including wages due, attorney fees and costs.

Farm labor contractor licenses can also be verified by fax at (559) 248-1895 or (559) 248-1893, or by mail at DLSE licensing and registration unit, P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco, CA 94142-0603.

###